I am back for some time now from an active vacation in Sweden and things were picking up with such a fast pace that the weeknotes were a little left behind. Here are some impressions of our 10 day canoe trip if you are curious. I can recommend this kind of adventure to everybody who is looking for serene nature and emptiness, which I found really energising and refreshing.
Now to my ongoing projects. The period before the holidays was pretty hectic and crammed.
Looking back at a couple of intense weeks where I travelled to Dubai three times in order to finalise the proposal and project scope for a government service tender that I collaborated on with a local agency. After initial research into the existing offline and online services we developed the personas and the customer journey and the customer needs. To scope the design efforts in more detail we got our hands dirty with creating a detailed prototype with the currently available content. We were looking closely at the best practices of the GOV.UK team for design and content strategy. I am impressed how the GOV.UK efforts translate into a clear and concise strategy and drew a lot of inspiration from their methods. We delivered an animated prototype of the service website that is still being reviewed and discussed by the client. Now we are scoping the project in more detail to agree on the clients requirements and third party involvement.
The challenge in this project is to deliver a platform that scales across mobile and web to eliminate the dreadful online experience that is currently offered.
We have spent more time on the content of the product page with the SAAM project team and are also looking into the possibilities launching the platform soon and acquire new clients. The identity is coming together and we are about to launch our product with the NPO. We conducted a soft launch with Zomergasten and the current test rounds look very promising.
We are in the middle of a big design project for a connected health platform and several clinical trials that should be embedded with that service. We are also looking for a senior type female product manager that has ambitions to lead a design team and wants to bring the product to new marktes. Pease get in touch if you can recommend somebody.
It was particularly great to come back to this vibrant place after a long vacation. I am really happy how stable everything is running and falls into place with the new people on board.— Alexander Zeh (@dmos)4 september 2014
One of the highlights during my work week recently was visiting Kars and Alper for a cosy lunch meeting in Utrecht to finally check out the Hubbub studio in Utrecht at the Vechtclub XL with my motor.
A couple of quick notes about last week, which started with a pitch for an institution in the UAE. I will share more details about this gig in case our design is selected and will be implemented.
With the SAAM team we have been busy developing the business model for the NMM platform and are polishing the design for the product launch website.
Starting this august I will join the Skinvision team in Amsterdam for a full day a week as a designer. Currently the team is looking for a senior female product owner who will be working closely with me and the R&D team. If you can recommend anybody in the Amsterdam area please introduce them to me.
Last friday I visited the dev/haag meetup for a presentation about the iterations of the Skinvision camera app. I am planning to use the presentation as an outline for a longer portfolio post.
Next to my current projects I started to contribute to the European research project GiantSteps . Being the only non-musician among seasoned musicians I learned a lot about approaches to live music improvisation during an instrument building workshop at Steim that was hosted by Kristina Anderson. The other participants were Daniel Brandt, Sylvain GARCIA aka LE K and Danny de Graan. Sylvain already produces his own controller software for the iPad touchAble due to his frustration with currently available interfaces.
We discussed several controller setups for live performances and prototyped configurations of physical controls with a lot of hot glue and household equipment.
The regional campaign www.checkjemoedervlek.nl was launched in Eindhoven.
We are starting a Living Lab with people that download the SkinVision App partnering with all stakeholders in the melanoma health cycle (hospitals, dermatologists, GPs, health prevention, corporates, health insurers).
Key objective is to implement the SkinVision App within the melanoma health process and get most value out of it for all partners involved.
Skinvision also received a lot of national and regional press attention in the Netherlands that resulted in ranking #1 in the Dutch App store.
We are still working on a new camera design that uses invisible triggers to take photos seemingly automatically when the right conditions are met. Currently we are tweaking the feedback and test directly on the iPhone.
Last week Dutch Cowboys published an article about the successful clinical trials with the Skinvision app. Next to working on an extended diagnostic platform the team is currently also iterating on a new camera design that will make it easier for people to snap pictures of their moles. Durin this sprint the close collaboration with the iOS developers resulted in improving ease of use and consistent picture quality. We are now getting the details of the design right before publishing to the app store.
The NMM project keeps advancing with a steady pace with the implementation of a CMS for maintaining stream meta data. We have been discussing the requirements for a product page and possible business models for that product .
On Thursday I went to see the Jazz-Department Conservatorium session in the Bimhuis. We saw an excellent performance of the Liya Grigoryan Trio that was accompanied by the scenic view and an upcoming thunderstorm. Liya’s beautiful compositions are influenced by classic and Armenian folk music.
The last month was a mix of vacation and wrapping up several projects hence the less frequent updates on this blog.
I spent a full week with my family not doing much except reading at the pool. Laura and me recently also visited Berlin where we caught up with Alper and went to see the current Ai Wei Wei retrospective at the Gropius Bau among other things, like having lunch at the DCA kantine.
Last week I divided my time between design iterations for the News Console branding, product strategy for the NMM project and design iterations for a prototype of the Skinvision online platform.
The project is also on view in the 20th Century exhibition at the Amsterdam Museum, St. Luciënsteeg 27, Amsterdam.
The past two weeks were focused on shipping the NMM project and presenting our results to the NPO. We have devised a marketing plan and a new name for the public launch.
We did a presentation for all the project stakeholders of the NPO and reviewed the functionality of the application. We further discussed the roadmap for implementation and the public launch of the project.
All stakeholders expressed their support and keen interest in collaborating further and integrating the service with their own innovation agenda.
We also finalised the report towards the Mediafonds and started to design the product webpage and a planning for future collaborations with editorial team of several dutch broadcast editorial teams.
We are iterating on the core functionality of the NMM prototype.
After user tests with the editors of Tegenlicht we are refining the interface for the live setting and simplified the filter settings for the timeline.
Also spent some time on design research for the Skinvision application that will back up the product changes in the near future.
The last two weeks were mostly focused around user testing for NMM and short design sprints in order to implement the results of the testing rounds.
We are now concentrating on getting the details of the interactive elements right by iterating on all dynamic visual feedback and cues that are key to the experience.
I recently started collaborating with Digital Thinking Network in order to help them develop their flagship product News Console further and to develop a coherent branding and visual language for their communication.
For the annual workshop weeks at my son’s school, themed as a recycle festival, I volunteered to supervise building big structures with vegetable and fruit crates and all kinds of other stuff in the schoolyard. All I needed to contribute was a lot of tape, ty-raps and some guidance in establishing patterns for building and connecting elements. During three afternoons the kids figured out how to build a rather tall tower, which was stable enough to withstand a hoard of kids during school breaks for a week and even a couple of nights of rain. For me working with kids is always an incredible rewarding experience because it is refreshing to see how fast they can reframe their imagination and alter their perspectives in order to solve a creative task with minimal instructions.
Last week I took some days off from work in Amsterdam to spend some time with my family in Germany during the official school holiday.
Took a ride on the Rock parcours in Germany and in the brand new S-class that has all kind of extras and a hideous massive display dashboard with rather tame graphics and controls. Quite a missed opportunity in my opinion but caters to their target group that must be 60+ at least.
Started to catch up on this happened Amsterdam videos and we are aiming to have everything online in two weeks.
Last Friday was also the opening of the 3D PRINT CANAL HOUSE by DUS.
During the weekend Laura and me visited the 4D sound system again for a mindblowing set of Biosphere and did a tour of three Amsterdam museums, more or less churches, Onze lieve heer op Zolder, Oude Kerk and Nieuwe Kerk.
Last week started with busy day including a general members meeting at the Coop and the final round of the Apps voor Ouders challenge. Pieter Hilhorst congratulated us with a cheque and a jury gave advise for future business opportunities with open data sources.
Tuesday I have spent a full day in design review meetings and requirement mapping for the NewsMemeMachine with Dagan and Arjan.
In the evening we had a This happened Amsterdam dinner with Paul Skinner and Lotte enjoying a pretty decent Korean BBQ and discussing the future of the local chapter. Paul is moving to New York and we are looking for somebody to take his place.
The Skinvision application hit the app store with an updated archive functionality and I am handing out upgrade codes to testers, let me know if you like to share your professional opinion about the application.— Jarl Schulp (@jarlschulp)February 21, 2014